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How to Cite Data: Home

The purpose of citations is to enable others to find the same sources you used. Data are like any other source and should be cited in your bibliography and your writing.

About This Guide

This guide provides guidance on how to construct a citation for data. 

Because few citation style guides offer guidance on how to cite data, this set of recommendations should not be taken as the final word on styles.  If you have a question, check with your faculty advisor or the journal in which you hope to publish.

Pages in this guide:

  • Key Components - Find an explanation of why citing your data is important and the key elements that should be included in your citation.
  • Numeric Data - Citing numeric data sets is a little different than citing geospatial ones.  See here examples specific to numeric data.
  • Geospatial Data - See here examples specific to geospatial data.
  • Additional Resources - Find citation guides for specific sources, and related tools for making your data more share-able and find-able.

Why Cite Data?

Citing data is important for many reasons:  to acknowledge the work of others if the data are not your own, but even if they are your own, to enable others to find (and perhaps re-use) your data, increasing your research impact.  Citing your data enables others to cite your work, contributing to metrics that document your scholarly works and contributions in your field.

ICPSR provides a short video (2:28 minutes) about the full range of reasons to cite your data.

Data Librarian

Michele Hayslett's picture
Michele Hayslett
My pronouns are she, her, hers.
Contact:
919-843-6958

Subjects
Data Management
Numeric Data
Census Data
Locating Data

If you would like to request we acquire data, please carefully read the guidelines at http://library.unc.edu/data/purchase/.

Website
  • Last Updated: Aug 31, 2020 12:33 PM
  • URL: https://guides.lib.unc.edu/citedata